World

Man who died trying to save girlfriend deserves bravery award: inquest

A man jumped off a cruise ship to try and save his girlfriend after she plunged overboard in the dark.

Miss Kristen Schroder, 26, apparently slipped after climbing over the fifth-level balcony of their cabin. 

Her boyfriend, Mr Paul Rossington, 30, jumped in to try and save her.

The couple went overboard just before 9pm on May 8, 2013, when the boat was about 60 nautical miles off the New South Wales coast.

The vessel, Carnival Spirit, had been on its way back to Australia following a 10-day Pacific Islands cruise.

Their disappearance was only noticed after they failed to disembark in Sydney.

There was a massive air and sea search for the pair, but their bodies were never recovered.

'He’s gone straight over after her'

An inquest heard that the pair, both Australian, had been arguing earlier in the evening.

Miss Schroder allegedly climbed over the cabin balcony.

Detective Sergeant Michael O’Keefe, the officer in charge of the case, said on Tuesday (June 9): "I think (Kristen) has slipped and fallen as she’s holding onto the rails.

"She holds that rail for approximately four seconds then hits the railing on the third deck and topples and somersaults into the water.

"When (Paul) has seen her slip he’s jumped out of bed and when she’s fallen he’s gone straight over after her."

Sergeant O’Keefe added that "he must have known that jumping out would most likely end with him losing his life".

He called for Mr Rossington to be awarded the Cross of Valour, Australia’s highest bravery honour.

The inquest heard there was little chance either survived for long.

After the ship docked, Carnival Australia chief executive Ann Sherry said such incidents were rare and that the heights of railings on this particular vessel were higher than required by international protocols.

Source: AFP

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